Interested in Philadelphia architectural schools? From the time of the earliest colonial settlers to the present day, Philadelphia’s architectural landscape has presented a progressive and impressive mosaic of structural art.  No wonder, then, that several of this nation’s premiere architectural learning programs are located there.  From the Charter School for Architectural Design to MIT’s action research program in landscape architecture, anyone interested in learning about and from the best in architectural design would do well to consider Philadelphia architectural schools. 

The Charter High School for Architectural Design (CHAD) was founded by the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Architecture, and is a tuition-free charter school, open to students, grade 9 through 12.  The first of its kind in the nation, this Philadelphia architectural school utilizes the entire city of Philadelphia as its classroom and boasts a curriculum that engages learners in creative problem-solving, urban design and other important architectural competencies. The charter school benefits from partnerships with the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA) as well as a number of prestigious architectural firms through the city and state. 

At the other end of the spectrum in Philadelphia architectural schools are such institutions as Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture, Philadelphia University’s School of Architecture, Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, the University of Pennsylvania’s PennDesign school and, as previously mentioned, MIT’s outreach urban design program.  All of these Philadelphia architectural design schools offer at least an undergraduate degree in the field, with some offering terminal doctoral degrees. 

Some of the schools, such as PennDesign, offer study-abroad options in places such as Paris and Tokyo. Begun in 1907, in addition to being one of the oldest schools of architecture in the United States, Penn State’s school of Architecture is one of the highest ranked in the nation.  Philadelphia University also offers a study-abroad program in conjunction with the American University of Rome.  Most of the architectural schools include a variety of design disciplines, from urban design to historic preservation, and many include an option for dual or multidisciplinary degrees.  Temple University’s Tyler School offers four undergraduate architectural design programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Facility Management, and Architectural Preservation.  For individuals looking for opportunities for advanced research and studies, the University of Pennsylvania offers a PhD in Architecture.

For students interested in integrating “green design” or community development into their program of learning, MIT’s program offers projects focused in communities of diversity, that build on strategies and design technology for environmental efficacy and neighborhood restoration and development. 

In between are a number of technical and trade schools offering certificates and degrees in drafting, architectural studies, and urban design, including the Community College of Philadelphia’s architectural design program.  These programs offer training in design fundamentals to prepare learners for continued professional education in four year architectural programs as design professionals. 

In addition, Philadelphia itself provides unique opportunities to see firsthand the diversity of design expressions, and to symbolically traverse is rich cultural makeup, both historical and contemporary, from its early architectural marvels of the late 1800s (e.g. Wanamakers, Philadelphia’s first department store) up to the unique and modern designs of present day Philadelphia (see Philadelphia’s tallest building, the new Comcast Center).   discovering the social, economic, and political forces that shaped the modern cityscape.

If you are interested in studying architectural design in Philadelphia, there are a plethora of offerings.  Certainly there is a Philadelphia architectural school to meet your needs.


If you are interested in Architecture Schools in Philadelphia, you may also be interested in finding more information on Architecture Schools in Orange County, Architecture Schools in Orlando, Architecture Schools in Patchogue and Architecture Schools in Nashville. Feel free to browse these art school profiles and securely submit your information to request information.


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